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 Looking at these paintings and thinking about all the spatial signifying going on — i'm struck by those old-timey coded uses and shorthands of space and volume — and how other that refining the mechanics of our tools we still don't have any really accurate way of depicting relational volumetrics on a flat plane than they did. There's still all this "style" to it — methods of telegraphing our intention about the locations of the things in the spaces — signals that depend on our being good adherents of the consensual spatial reality that we're educated into.

 A place to see how this is still very much with us is if you look closely at computer perspective rendering engine output.

[15mm "lens" - verticals still parallel]

 In the "camera" views - rather than in the orthographic panes in which most of us mesh-pullers do our construction (otherwise you go mad watching stuff scoot off toward the horizon in exponential acceleration if you move it in a perspective plane) all the major software players have these signature little tweaks of how they handle the angular distortion that informs us of the degree of telephoto or wide angle lens effect we're dealing with once the camera angle is above or below and angled to either side of the centerpoint of the rendered area.

[15mm — we've gone 3point. Verticals converging and closest masses getting stretched]

 And while these distortion tweaks follow internally consistent rules in any given software, they don't strictly follow the rules of conventional mechanical perspective — 1, 2, 3 point multi or what have you — any more than people working backwhen at the Gothic / Modern perceptual schism did.

 Many software algorithms exaggeratedly stretch things "up and down and out" to gain that spread as you go wide angle, off center, and above or below the ground plane — i.e. — 3 point perspective is hard to make look good when we have all these biases and expectations.

[15mm - again 3pt with verticals converging — all these examples were spun around the same point in the middle of all the boxes. In every case, we were -30°Y and ±30°X. The camera stays at the same distance from the pivot point. . . ]

 You have to fool around at extreme wide angles with known-shape objects in wire frame - and be looking for it - before you really start to see what each software gimmick is ... otherwise you just accept it without thinking about it.
It's weird, we're still really wired like Cro-Magnon rock throwers and Gothic spearchuckers. The "why" of our eyes being set apart — the better to kill and eat you factor — wasn't an evolutionary anticipation of a need to grove on perspective in painting, and that's one of the reasons this Art Stuff still works on us. It's a sort of cognitive dissonance that is not so much purely mental and psychological as it is an argument between the viscera and the brain. We know what we feel about it, but it just ain't so.

The other reason is, of course, that we all still believe the world out in front of us is flat.

I'm throwing this one in cuz it feels like inadvertent art to me.

/Mark Robertson, 2001
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